New Toxicological Profile Published for Acetone

July 11, 2022
A new final toxicological profile for acetone is available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. According to ATSDR, workers in industries such as commercial painting, plastic manufacturing, household cleaning, and beauty salons may be exposed to higher levels of acetone in the air in the workplace. The agency’s information sheet on acetone advises that a strong scent of acetone and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat are “warning signs of moderate exposure.” Health effects associated with breathing high amounts of acetone during a short period of time can include headaches, confusion, nausea, racing pulse, and unconsciousness, and skin contact with acetone can cause dryness, irritation, and cracking. Studies of long-term acetone exposure among animals have shown effects such as kidney, liver, and nerve damage; birth defects; and male infertility. ATSDR notes that it is not known if long-term exposure to the chemical affects people similarly.
New final toxicological profiles are also available for the insecticides aldrin and dieldrin; chlorophenols, a group of synthetic chemicals with uses in several industries and products; and 3,3’-dichlorobenzidine, a chemical used in the production of dyes and pigments in products such as textiles, plastics, rubbers, and leather.
ATSDR toxicological profiles characterize the toxicology and adverse health effects information for hazardous substances. The peer-reviewed profiles identify and review the key literature describing substances’ toxicological properties. Information on substances’ potential for human exposure; chemical and physical properties; regulations and guidelines; and production, import, use, and disposal can also be found in ATSDR’s toxicological profiles. A full list of toxic substances with published profiles is available on the agency’s website.
EPA Seeks Small Businesses’ Input on Development of Proposed TSCA Data Reporting Rule
The EPA is inviting small businesses to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. This Panel will focus on EPA’s development of a proposed rule to collect data to inform each step of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process.
The proposed rule would establish a framework of reporting requirements based on a chemical’s status in the TSCA Section 6 Risk Evaluation/Risk Management Lifecycle. Additionally, this new data reporting rule would enhance the exposure-related data collected through the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) process. EPA is interested in ensuring its data collection strategies provide information to better meet the agency's basic chemical data needs, such as information related to exposure, health and eco-toxicity. Collecting data geared specifically towards prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management would help ensure the agency has relevant and timely data to inform each step of the process for reviewing potential risks from existing chemicals.
The data reporting rule, including changes to CDR, is tiered to specific stages of the TSCA Section 6 existing chemicals program: 
  • Identifying a pre-prioritization pool of substances as potential candidates for prioritization
  • Selecting candidate chemicals and completing the prioritization process
  • Assessing high-priority substances through a robust risk evaluation, which may be followed by risk management actions (depending on the outcome of the risk evaluation)
Tying specific reporting requirements to the activities that make use of reported data will also reduce the burden related to data collection efforts while ensuring that EPA has the information it needs to fulfill its risk evaluation and risk management responsibilities.
The proposed rule is intended to create a framework to obtain information about potential hazards and exposure pathways related to certain chemicals, particularly occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. EPA’s ability to collect data under this proposed rule would derive from authorities in TSCA sections 8(a) and 8(d), which give EPA authority to require:
  • Manufacturers and processors to provide known or reasonably ascertainable information, including chemical identity, production volumes, uses, byproducts, and worker exposure
  • Manufacturers, processors and distributors to submit health and safety information
The potentially regulated community consists of entities that manufacture, import or process chemical substances, potentially including when the chemical substance is manufactured as a byproduct or is part of a formulated product or article (including import and processing). Most respondents anticipated to be affected by this collection activity are from the manufacturing sectors, including chemical manufacturing; petroleum and coal product manufacturing; chemical, petroleum and merchant wholesalers; paper, plastics, paint and printing ink manufacturing; electronic product and component manufacturing; or other activities, including utilities and construction. Learn more about potentially regulated entities.
The Panel, convened under the authority of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The Panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company, government, or organization to inform the Panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities.
EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.
Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by July 20, 2022.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Proposed Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Framework
To advance President Biden’s commitment to combat climate change and bring down costs for families, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for states and municipalities to track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) makes available more than $27 billion in federal funding to help State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) meet their declining GHG targets. The new rule would take two important steps to combat climate change:
  1. Establish a national framework for tracking state-by-state progress by adding a new GHG performance management measure to the existing FHWA national performance measures to help states track performance and make more informed investment decisions.
  2. Create a flexible system under which State DOTs and MPOs would set their own declining targets for on-road greenhouse gas emissions from roadway travel on the National Highway System.
“With today’s announcement, we are taking an important step forward in tackling transportation’s share of the climate challenge, and we don’t have a moment to waste,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our approach gives states the flexibility they need to set their own emission reduction targets, while providing them with resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to meet those targets and protect their communities.”
This proposed rule builds upon and would add greater transparency to the work that 24 states and the District of Columbia are already doing under state law GHG target-setting requirements.
Transportation is the leading source of GHGs in the U.S., and the Biden-Harris Administration has put forward an integrated approach to reducing emissions from the sector while ensuring our economy works for all Americans. This entails the use of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to help state and local governments meet their GHG reduction targets, in addition to efforts to help reduce transportation costs for the American people through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which are in place to make driving more affordable by increasing fuel efficiency.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is available through various programs over five years, including but not limited to:
  • The Carbon Reduction Program will provide $6.4 billion in formula funding to states and local governments to develop carbon reduction strategies and fund a wide range of projects designed to reduce carbon emissions from on-road highway sources.
  • The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will provide $5 billion to states primarily through a statutory formula to build out a national electric vehicle charging network, an important step towards making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans.
  • A Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure will provide $2.5 billion in competitive funding to states and local governments to deploy electric vehicle charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors and in communities.
  • The Congestion Relief Program will provide $250 million in competitive funding to advance innovative, multimodal solutions to reduce congestion and related economic and environmental costs in the most congested metropolitan areas of the U.S.
  • The Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Program will provide $400 million in competitive funding to reduce truck idling and emissions at ports, including through the advancement of port electrification.
  • BIL includes more than $5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, which will help ensure our nation’s transit systems are tackling the climate crisis and working better for all of us.
  • BIL also includes $7.2 billion for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside that can help state and local governments carry out environmentally friendly pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects.
  • Additionally, FTA’s $69 million Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Program provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with new fixed guideway or core capacity transit capital investment projects. BIL also expands TOD funding opportunities through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) programs.
In addition to new funding sources that states can access from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, new and existing formula programs provide states and local governments critical access to funding to encourage public transportation and other integrated land use and transportation projects and strategies that reduce air pollution by giving Americans more climate-friendly options for travel, and help state and local governments meet the emissions reduction targets this proposed rule would require them to set for themselves.
“Every state and local government in this country is seeing the impacts of climate change on their communities and infrastructure.  States have a critical role to play as we work nationwide to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and slow those impacts,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “State laws already require 24 states and the District of Columbia to set targets and track their greenhouse gas emissions and this proposed rule would bring this locally proven approach to scale nationwide.”
This proposed rule would help the transportation sector evolve from the leading source of emissions to become the biggest part of the solution, standardizing practices that many states have already established economy-wide, by making data comparable across states lines and metropolitan areas, and by facilitating better planning and outcomes for local communities.
The proposed rule also aligns with the Administration’s net-zero targets as outlined in the national policy established under Executive Orders (E.O.) 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and E.O. 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”
The proposed rule would require State DOTs and MPOs to report biennially on their progress in meeting the declining targets they establish and require FHWA to assess significant progress toward achieving those targets.
The proposed rule is expected to publish in the Federal Register next week. A signed copy of the document submitted to the Federal Register for publication is available on FHWA’s website. A final rule may be published after FHWA has had the opportunity to review the comments submitted.
European Agency Adds Substance Used in Polymers to Hazardous Chemicals List
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently announced the addition of the compound N-(hydroxymethyl)acrylamide to its Candidate List of substances of very high concern for authorization. N-(hydroxymethyl)acrylamide is used in polymers as well as in the manufacture of other chemicals and products such as textiles, leather, or fur, according to ECHA’s website. The substance was added to the hazardous chemicals list due to its carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. An “infocard” published by ECHA stresses that N-(hydroxymethyl)acrylamide may also cause an allergic skin reaction; a majority of companies that have submitted data to ECHA about the substance agree that it is skin sensitizing, the agency explains. The infocard also provides information related to hazard classification and labeling and other properties of concern.
The Candidate List now contains 224 substances. Identifying a chemical as a substance of very high concern and including it in the Candidate List is the first step of the authorization procedure under REACH, the European Union’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.
NIOSH’s Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS), which contains toxicity data obtained from open scientific literature, has a page for N-(hydroxymethyl)acrylamide. Users of RTECS can find data on primary irritation, mutagenic effects, reproductive effects, tumorigenic effects, acute toxicity, and other multiple dose toxicity.
Battery Manufacturer to Pay $108,810 for Hazardous Waste Management Violations
A recent settlement between the EPA and a battery manufacturing company in E. Greenwich, Rhode Island means the facility is now handling and storing hazardous wastes in accordance with federal and state law outlining the safe handling requirements for hazardous waste. The company also agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $108,810.
In the consent agreement and final order, EPA alleged that EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, a privately-held Delaware company with a manufacturing facility in E. Greenwich, violated the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and federally-enforceable Rhode Island hazardous waste regulations. Based on a state inspection of the facility, EPA alleged that EaglePicher accumulated hazardous waste in a storage tank for greater than 90 days, failed to segregate containers of incompatible wastes, failed to properly label containers, and failed to label and track accumulation times for universal wastes. EaglePicher certified that the facility has corrected its RCRA violations and has established new RCRA compliance procedures.
Safe storage and handling of hazardous wastes is necessary to protect local communities and workers from potentially dangerous exposure to harmful substances. As part of the settlement, EaglePicher has confirmed that the facility is in compliance with state and federal hazardous waste management laws. The company was cooperative during the case settlement negotiations.
Colorado Contractors Ignored Safety Requirement Leading to Fall
One worker fell about 65 feet from an improperly elevated scaffold, suffering serious injuries, and a second worker avoided injury at a Denver construction site after three contractors on the job ignored a manufacturer's safety recommendation not to use their climbing scaffold atop a lifting device, a federal workplace safety investigation has found.
Investigators with OSHA determined that the employees of Native Sun Materials, Inc. of Colorado Springs were constructing a concrete elevator and stairway core for a 44-unit residential building on Dec. 7, 2021, at the time of the incident. They also learned that the project's general contractor – R.G. Brinkmann Co. of Aurora – permitted the workers to access and ride a climbing scaffold as the crane hoisted the scaffold system upwards. During the lifting process, the scaffold system shifted and inverted causing one worker to fall and suffer severe leg, back and head injuries. His co-worker, whose fall arrest gear left him dangling from the scaffold, was rescued and suffered minor injuries.
OSHA found the three contractors – Native Sun Materials, Inc., R.G. Brinkmann, Co. and the crane operator, B&C Steel, Inc. of Denver – each contributed to the conditions that exposed the workers to fall and struck-by hazards. OSHA also learned the climbing scaffold manufacturer's guidelines recommended not using the system with a lift.
"To use equipment to hoist workers to elevations, an employer must demonstrate that conventional means of reaching the work area are impossible or more hazardous," explained OSHA Area Director Amanda Kupper in Denver. "This employer's failure to follow that requirement caused a worker to suffer life-changing injuries and another to be forever reminded of this tragedy."
As a result of its investigation, OSHA issued the following citations:
EPA Orders Puerto Rico Developers to Stop Pollution Discharges from Construction Site
The EPA recently ordered the Cliff Corp. and Grupo Caribe, LLC to stop discharges of stormwater and runoff coming from the Cliff Villas Hotel and Country Club construction project in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, from flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. The proposed 86-villa project is located in the Borinquen Ward of Aguadilla and comprises about 9.5 acres of land.
This order is the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken to address stormwater violations from construction sites throughout the island. EPA considers it a priority to assure compliance with the Clean Water Act due to increased construction activity across Puerto Rico, especially in coastal areas.
“Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can cause serious problems for the environment and people in Puerto Rico, including impaired opportunities for fishing and swimming, so it’s imperative developers manage stormwater from construction sites in accordance with the Clean Water Act,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This order embodies EPA’s commitment to holding companies accountable when they violate critical laws that protect public health and the environment.”
EPA’s investigation found inadequate erosion and sediment controls and stabilization measures. EPA concluded that the developers began work at the site and discharged pollutants into the Atlantic Ocean without the required Clean Water Act permit authorization. EPA has required the Cliff Corp. and Grupo Caribe, LLC to submit an action plan within 30 days of the receipt of the order and take steps to come into compliance and properly control discharges from the site. The EPA order also requires the Cliff Corp. and Grupo Caribe, LLC to provide monthly reports to the EPA describing the status and progress of the actions taken to comply with the provisions of the order.
When it rains, stormwater washes over the loose soil on a construction site, along with various materials and products stored outside. As stormwater flows over the site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris, and chemicals from that loose soil and transport them to nearby storm sewer systems or directly into rivers, lakes, or coastal waters. EPA works with construction site operators to make sure they have the proper stormwater controls in place so that construction can proceed in a way that protects your community’s clean water and the surrounding environment.
Visit the website to learn more about the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Free Amazon HD 10 Tablet with RCRA and DOT Training
Annual training is required by 40 CFR 262.17(a)(7).  Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.  Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training is available at nationwide locations, and via live webcasts.  If you plan to also attend DOT Hazardous Materials Training, call 800-537-2372 to find out how can get your course materials on an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet at no extra charge.
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